7 Best External Hard Drive for Mac in 2019

Apple doesn’t make it exactly easy for its customers to upgrade the internal hard drives of Mac computers. That alone wouldn’t be such a thorny issue if the prices of Macs with large hard drives weren’t so outrageous. If your Mac is bugging you about insufficient storage space and you’re not ready to buy a new one just yet, you should buy an external hard drive to enjoy as much as several TB of additional storage space without breaking your bank.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Western DigitalWD 4TB Black My Passport  Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0Check Price on Amazon
SamsungSamsung T5 Portable SSD - 500GB - USB 3.1 External SSDCheck Price on Amazon
BUFFALOBuffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt USB 3.0 1 TB Portable Hard DriveCheck Price on Amazon
iStorageiStorage IS-DT2-256-2000-C-G 2TB diskAshur DT2 USB 3.1 Secure encrypted Desktop DriveCheck Price on Amazon
G-TechnologyG-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 4TB External Hard DriveCheck Price on Amazon

Seagate 1TB Solid-State Drive

Seagate has been around for an extremely long time and has easily positioned itself as the best external hard drive for Mac. This one comes in at a whole 1TB of storage space and sits at an affordable price point, despite being flash storage.

One of the cool features about the Seagate SSD is that it comes with support for USB-C, so you can easily plug it into even one of the latest MacBooks available today. The Seagate can hit speeds of up to 540Mbps, which means you get some really fast file transfers. Moving large chunks of data around for the Seagate is no problem.

Silicon Power Rugged SSD

Silicon Power might not be the most well-known brand around the market, but it produced an external SSD card with a rugged casing. The cool thing about that sturdy casing is that it ensures that your SSD stays protected against accidental falls and drops, keeping this intact for a lifetime.

It comes with 1TB of storage space as well, so you have plenty of room for just about anything. It also comes with USB-C support so that it will work with some of the latest devices on the market, too.

Western Digital My Passport 4TB

Western Digital is one of the largest manufacturers of storage devices, and both its external and internal hard drives are known for their superior reliability. The Western Digital My Passport 4TB comes in a broad palette of colors, so you can choose the one that best matches your style.

The external hard drive comes with WD Backup software, which lets you automatically back up photos, videos, music, and documents according to your schedule. Thanks to built-in 56-bit AES hardware encryption and WD Security software, the Western Digital My Passport 4TB makes it impossible for intruders to access your data even if they steal your hard drive.

If you don’t need 4 TB of storage space, you can get this external hard drive with 1 TB, 2 TB, or 3 TB of storage space instead. Regardless of which capacity you choose, the hard drive is always compatible with all recent versions of macOS and Windows.

Samsung T5 SSD

As its name suggests, the Samsung T5 SSD is a solid-state disk and not a traditional hard drive. That means it offers super-fast read and write speeds of up to 540 MB/s, or up to 4.9x faster than external HDDs—fast enough even for modern games and demanding software applications. Being able to run games and software directly from your external hard drive allows you to free up plenty of additional storage space on your computer.

Because there are no spinning platters inside the Samsung T5 SSD, you can fit it inside the palm of your hand and comfortably store it inside even the smallest of pockets. The top to bottom metal design and rounded unibody make the Samsung T5 SSD exceptionally durable. The hard drive connects to any Mac or Windows computer using the included USB Type-C to C and USB Type-C to A cables.

You can optionally tell the Samsung T5 SSD to encrypt your data with AES 256-bit hardware encryption, which is the same encryption standard some of the most secretive intelligence agencies in the world use to protect highly classified information.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt

The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt is designed with Mac computers in mind, and it comes with a fast Thunderbolt interface that offers speeds of up to 10 Gb/s, which is twice the maximum speed of USB 3.0. That said, the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt works flawlessly even with older computers that have only USB 2.0.

The hard drive comes pre-formatted for Mac computers, so you don’t need to do anything at all before you can start using it. If you’re a Time Machine user, you’ll be pleased to know that the hard drive is compatible with Time Machine for complete data backup.

Buffalo offers a 3-year warranty on the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt plus 24/7 US tech support that can help you solve any problems you may run into when using the hard drive.

iStorage diskAshur

The iStorage diskAshur is a high-capacity external hard drive with an exciting spin: it’s the world’s first and only NCSC CPA, FIPS 140-2 Level 3, NLNCSA BSPA & NATO Restricted Level certified hardware-encrypted desktop hard drive.

All those obscure acronyms and initialisms mean that the hard drive can keep your data secure even if it gets into the wrong hands. It uses real-time AES 256-bit XTS hardware encryption and PIN authentication to prevent unauthorized access. The hard drive can recognize automated attacks and enter a frozen deadlock state to render them useless.

You can get the iStorage diskAshur with up to 12 TB of storage space, but you better be prepared to pay for it. We recommend the 2 TB version because of its excellent price per gigabyte.

G-Technology G-Drive USB 3.0

If you love the design of the 2006 Mac Pro, then you’ll also love the G-Technology G-Drive USB 3.0. With its perforated front grille and stylish all-aluminum case, the hard drive looks and feels just as expensive and well-made as Mac computers in general. There are four capacities to choose from—2 TB, 4 TB, 6 TB, and 10 TB—with the middle two offering the best price per gigabyte of storage space.

The G-Technology G-Drive USB 3.0 is pre-formatted for macOS, but you can also reformat it for Windows. Because it connects via a remarkably fast USB 3.0 interface, data transfers take much less time, and response times are low. It’s also worth mentioning that the manufacturer offers a 3-year limited warranty on the hard drive, so your satisfaction is guaranteed.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Western DigitalWD 4TB Black My Passport  Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0Check Price on Amazon
SamsungSamsung T5 Portable SSD - 500GB - USB 3.1 External SSDCheck Price on Amazon
BUFFALOBuffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt USB 3.0 1 TB Portable Hard DriveCheck Price on Amazon
iStorageiStorage IS-DT2-256-2000-C-G 2TB diskAshur DT2 USB 3.1 Secure encrypted Desktop DriveCheck Price on Amazon
G-TechnologyG-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 4TB External Hard DriveCheck Price on Amazon

Verdict

Most external hard drives are going to work with your Mac. Plug any one of them into a USB or USB-C port, and it should either immediately work or run through a start-up screen to set the drive up. Really, your choice is going to come down to how much storage you need, as well as if you are okay with a standard mechanical hard drive, or if you want flash storage.